Local News

Authorities: Fayetteville woman starved dog to death

Posted February 27, 2015

Stephanie Bates

— A Fayetteville woman was arrested Friday after authorities said she failed to provide adequate food and medical treatment to her dog for more than a year, essentially allowing the animal to starve to death.

Stephanie Bates, 49, of 7649 Galena Drive, was charged with felony animal cruelty and was released on a $2,000 unsecured bond.

Bruno, Bates' 3-year-old boxer bulldog, began having gastro-intestinal problems in October 2013 and was taken to Reilly Road Animal Hospital for treatment. Veterinarians prescribed medications for Bruno, but Bates took him back to the clinic three months later when his symptoms didn't improve, authorities said.

Bruno was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and Bates was told the dog would need additional medications and a special diet.

Last month, Bates called Reilly Road Animal Hospital inquiring about euthanizing Bruno, authorities said, but the veterinarian refused to do that without examining the dog first. Bates later surrendered the dog to Cumberland County Animal Control, and authorities said the animal was by then severely emaciated and could barely stand on its own.

Animal Control officers took Bruno to several veterinary clinics for treatment, but the dog later suffered cardiac arrest and had to be euthanized, authorities said.


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  • Yolanda Clay Mar 3, 2015
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    Geezer, people. The camera man could have been talking to her, and made her smile as he took the pic. She could have taken the dog back to the vet as soon as she felt she was losing a handle on the situation.

  • Judge Smails Feb 28, 2015
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    Murders and rapes do not get as many comments as this is getting, AND THAT IS SAD

  • Deborah Deese Feb 28, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    Animal Control is not equipped to treat/rehabilitate an animal near multiple organ failure. A Boxer rescue spent thousands of donated dollars not to treat the IBS but to treat the starvation he was dying from. Have you even seen any pictures of him?
    If a person cannot treat a manageable ailment, they should rehome the pet with someone who can and will.

  • Alexia Proper Feb 28, 2015
    user avatar

    So, the lady didn't know how to effectively deal with IBS. Finally, she decided it would be best to euthanize the dog. She gets nowhere with that, so she hands the dig over to animal control in hopes they know what to do.

    Being experts, they don't know what to do, either. Clearly, they're not experts. They go shopping for a veterinarian, taking the dog to several. Finally, the dog has a heart attack. Then THEY kill the dog.

    Come on, folks. Maybe this lady did the best she could do. Lighten up on her. It's just a dog.

  • Deborah Deese Feb 27, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Boxers can have very sensitive stomachs. I know of several boxers on specialized diets for IBS or other gastrointestinal issues. If you don't feed them the right food and administer medications, food goes straight through them. Never, ever should an owner allow a dog get to this condition. No excuses. There is no "rest of the story" at this point.

  • Brian Jones Feb 27, 2015
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    Did the vets misdiagnose the dog?.............Gastrointestinal problems sometimes means an animal cannot digest food. If you cannot digest food, do you lose weight? Veterinarians are not gods, in fact few of them ever impress me. They can't and don't cure everything (or even very much). They do want to be paid about $400 a visit, 4 visits a year on hopeless cases sometimes.......So we really don't know the whole story.

  • Mark Farmer Feb 27, 2015
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    because she could not have the dog killed, she starved it.

    that's my take on it.

  • Frances Foster Feb 27, 2015
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    This woman is absolutely insane. I hope she gets her just reward for killing this animal. It certainly won't come in the form of the judicial system.

  • Patty Ellis Feb 27, 2015
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    Carolina Boxer Rescue was the rescue that stepped in and tried to save poor Bruno after this "person" surrendered him to Animal Control. CBR was the group that took him to vets and spent thousands of dollars trying to keep him alive. In the end, one of CBR's volunteers was there to pet him and tell him how much he was loved before he was euthanized.

  • Sherrill Craig Feb 27, 2015
    user avatar

    sometimes I hate humans.